Events Are Returning: Here’s the Latest

It has been awhile since some of us have seen a live event in person. But that’s starting to change. From concerts, sports events and theater shows, we’re starting to see more events and larger audiences. Here’s how things are changing, what you can expect at your next event and a few upcoming events welcoming fans back in-person.

There is nothing like the energy and atmosphere of live music. It is the most life-affirming experience, to see your favorite performer onstage, in the flesh, rather than as a one-dimensional image…

Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters

What to Expect at Spring Events

Pod seating, social distancing and limited capacity will be the norm for at least the next few months. Tickets will be sold in various sized groups (pod seating) so you won’t have the usual flexibility in quantity. For the most part venues have figured out the correct mix of different size groups, compared to earlier this year. You may have an extra seat to spare or need multiple pods depending on the size of your group.

Top Selling Sports

We need our fans in that stadium. I mean, that’s, that’s huge.

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

Venue Capacities Increasing

The Texas Rangers are allowing full capacity crowds in 2021, but many stadiums will be limited by local public health agencies. The Los Angeles Dodgers, for example, will start at 20% capacity but can increase to 33% and 67% depending on their current tier as determined by the state’s reopening framework.

Theater shows are handling things differently. LA’s Pantages Theatre cancelled Hamilton shows until October. But, tickets for October shows are available and there’s no pod seating or limited capacity currently in place.

In between now and the fall, we may see more events being re-manifested. Another term that has become popular lately, this happens when capacity changes for a given show or game. We saw lots of college football re-manifested when stadiums went from full-seating to limited capacity. Nowadays, events re-manifest as capacity expands (like the Los Dodgers allowing more fans to attend). What this means for you: your previous purchase may be refunded and you’ll have to buy tickets again. You’ll be notified by email if this happens, and it is possible with more tickets available that you’ll be able to repurchase the event for a lower price.

Top Selling Concerts

The fans are a part of this game.

LeBron James, LA Lakers

Changes At The Venue

Expect changes we’ve already seen like masking and socially-distanced waiting lines to continue for the next few months. Despite allowing a full crowd the Rangers will require masks for attendees. Contactless payments will continue to become more popular and many venues have installed cash-to-card kiosks for those without mobile payment options. Clear bags policies are growing, so check our bag policy advice and confirm with your local venue.

Top Selling Theater

Testing Requirements

New York was the first to roll out state-wide testing requirement for events. In New York, you’ll need proof of a negative test or vaccination before being admitted. Many larger venues like Madison Square Garden, will offer on-site testing for Covid-19. Timing depends on the type of test: within 6 hours of event start time for antigen tests, within 72 hours for a PCR test.

In California, requirements for testing or vaccination went into effect on April 15th. Venues with capacity 1500 and smaller allow a higher capacity limit if “all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination”. Depending on the color-coded tier, this can mean an increase from 10% to 25% (Red tier) up to 50% for Yellow tier if all guests are tested or show proof of full vaccination. Similar limits are in place for larger venues, with 50% being the maximum allowed capacity.